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Cops: Restaurant burglarized, then torched

Tribune reporter

A fire at a Polish restaurant in the Portage Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side appears to have been set to cover up a burglary, police say.

The fire broke out around 11 p.m. Tuesday at Sami Swoi at 3550 N. Austin Ave., according to Fire Department spokesman Rich Rosado. Two other stores were also damaged.

The fire appears to have been set to cover up a burglary, according to a sergeant with the Bomb and Arson unit, who said the owner noticed items missing. A preliminary investigation has determined  two points of origin, he said.

An employee at a nearby 24-hour Dunkin Donuts alerted officials about the fire, according to a lieutenant in the Jefferson Park police district.

No one was injured and the fire was struck out by 12:15 a.m., officials said.

cxsmith@tribune.com

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